UKTFA welcomes housing Kickstart

31 July 2009

The UK Timber Frame Association (UKTFA) has welcomed the Government’s Kickstart initiative to build more houses announced earlier this week.

However, it is warning that the money must not be wasted or misdirected.

Geoff Arnold, chairman of the UKTFA, comments: “It makes sense for the Government to target £1.5 billion on building more affordable, energy efficient homes. But given the scarcity of resources available to help any industry in crisis right now, this money must be spent wisely and not wastefully. It must go to councils, housing associations and developers that can respond quickly and efficiently, and that have the capacity to build good quality new homes to the highest standards of energy efficiency.

“Our urgent message to the Government, and to the councils bidding for these funds, is to avoid squandering this vital cash on eco bling. Forget about sourcing fancy renewable energy systems to bolt onto leaky, poorly built, high carbon homes.

"The emphasis should be on fabric first. Standards of construction often dip after a recession, so if we are to ensure this money is invested in genuinely sustainable homes fit for the future the single best way to start is to target funding at sites that will adopt offsite construction (to ensure quality and speed of build) and the best thermal performance and airtightness in walls and floors.

“The UK timber frame industry is highly responsive and has the manufacturing capacity to get new sites opened fast and with less waste. We will be taking this message to all local authorities and developers and inviting them to see for themselves what a difference they can make by using timber frame.”